» Let’s Not Join Trump
This editorial addresses U.S. President’s policy towards Iran regarding JCPOA.
As Donald Trump is facing heavy criticism over his country’s domestic issues, he is trying to create some crisis outside the U.S. to distract American people.
The international conflict he can provoke is with either ISIS, North Korea or Iran. Since ISIS has already slumped to heavy defeats in recent months, such a conflict cannot bring the outcome Trump expects. Also, a military attack on North Korea is undoable for numerous reasons. However, as for Iran, Trump knows that by imposing extensive sanctions he can make serious difficulties for this country. Therefore, Iran should not provide him with any excuses to carry out his threats.
Evidently, U.S. would lose its trustworthy in the world if it nixes JCPOA, but this has no use for Iran. Moreover, believing that Europe would not join U.S. in this regard is a temporary relief. Europeans will not exit JCPOA and might even object to such a measure, but they will not jeopardize their trade relations with U.S. for Iran’s sake.
To sum up, Iran has already suffered economic consequences of sanctions, not to mention the corruption resulted from skirting those sanctions. So let’s not give a justification to the U.S. Congress and Senate to return us to those years.
An editorial in “Shargh” daily on October 11, 2017
» Trump’s Exiting JCPOA: Any Effect on Iran Economy?
This editorial discusses the impact of U.S. exiting JCPOA on Iran’s economy.
Donald Trump might decertify Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal this week. The question is whether Iran will suffer any damages from it. First of all, as American and European economic systems are closely connected, JCPOA’s falling apart would affect Iran’s relationship with Europe. Also, Iran’s banking relations with the world hurts most. Of course, it should be mentioned that so far JCPOA has had an impact of less than 5% on Iran’s banking relations with other countries. Therefore, U.S. reneging on a commitment to JCPOA cannot have a tangible effect on Iran’s relations with the world.
Another significant point is that Iran’s is pursuing a replacement policy, namely, it is boosting its relations with Russia and China–instead of U.S. and its allies– which are more committed to their promises and not under U.S. pressure. Besides, Iran’s economic trade is changing course, that is, instead of exchanging goods for currencies like dollar and Euro, it is directly exchanging goods for goods. As for fulfilling the country’s need for foreign currency, Iran is turning to countries such as Turkey, India, China, and Russia.
The editorialist concludes that if Trump ditches JCPOA, other countries will lose more than Iran as they will lose their customer.
An editorial in “Tejarat” online on October 10, 2017
» President or Prime Minister?
This editorial argues whether Iran’s system of government can change from presidential to parliamentary.
Recently some of Iran’s lawmakers have posed the issue of altering the country’s system from presidential to a parliamentary one. Their rationale is that the government has not coordinated enough with parliament; so with a prime minister elected by parliament, no such problem will exist.
However, such a change in Iran’s system is questionable for the following reasons. First, accepting a parliamentary system necessitates accepting a multi-party electoral system. At a country like Iran where a multi-party electoral system is not tolerated, what can a parliament-elected prime minister do? The second question is: Does Iran’s parliament represent its whole society? Wasn’t this parliament formed when major members of its reformists’ Omid [Hope] faction were disqualified?
Third, is the failure of development plans an outcome of the presidential system? Has this parliament done its share of improving the quality of legislation? Finally, if the country had a parliamentary system in 1997, would it elect the same person that people voted for, namely, the leader of the reformist party Mohammad Khatami?
The editorialist infers that no matter how essential reform is in Iran, it cannot happen through replacing president by the prime minister.
An editorial in “Setareh Sobh” on October 9, 2017
» Corruption within Fighting Corruption
This editorial discusses how fighting corruption in Iran has become a kind of corruption itself.
Iranian people demand the establishment to prevent corruption of individuals, political parties, and influential groups. Yet ways of combatting corruption have obviously deviated from its main course. Therefore, people no longer take seriously reports on curbing corruption and think any corruption-related arrest is related to political-factional clashes.
The point is that struggle for power in Iran lacks transparency, efficiency, and rationality. So political factions, instead of presenting deliberate plans, focus on their opponents’ weaknesses, divulging their corruption-related activities just to gain people’s votes. Usually, at the peak of election campaigns, fighting corruption escalates and decreases when over.
Once individuals are arrested on corruption charges but without any clear information, people suspect it concerns competing factions settling accounts with their rivals. This doubt means that fighting corruption itself might involve corruption. Even when a non-governmental individual who cannot use government resources for committing corruption gets arrested, people have the same doubts.
To minimize that, the editorialist concludes that people should be informed about reasons of such arrests in an honest, open manner as soon as possible and media of all political factions, without any discrimination, should have access to such information.
An editorial in “Jahane Sanat” in October 8, 2017
♦ Ahmadinejad to be put on trial soon
Former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is getting ready to go to court. Court of Audit prosecutor Fayaz has recently announced “shocking violations” of Ahmadinejad, adding that seven verdicts have been issued, finalized and implemented against the former president. Fayaz also said in one of the cases, Ahmadinejad has been condemned to compensate more than 7 thousand billion Tomans.
As these cases might have been sent from Court of Audit to judiciary branch, Ahmadinejad might soon be expected to appear in court.
♦ Moscow: Designating IRGC as terrorist organization, step to rescind JCPOA
Russian foreign ministry announced in a statement that they do not approve of U.S. intention to designate Iran Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization, calling this a step towards revoking the nuclear deal with Iran. In this statement, it is urged that Russia doesn’t consider IRGC a terrorist organization and doesn’t approve of U.S. intention in this regard.
Prior to this, French foreign minister has also expressed concerns that designating IRGC as a terrorist group will escalate tensions in the region.
♦ Kerman IRGC commander threatens lawmakers
Commander of IRGC in Kerman threatened this province’s MPs for signing a letter in support of former reformist president Mohammad Khatami. Brigadier-General Abuhamzeh said, “don’t these MPs know that Mohammad Khatami is one of the leaders of sedition [hardliners word for Green Movement in Iran]?” Kerman IRGC commander said he will go for each and every one of these lawmakers.
Kerman IRGC commander is referring to the recent letter of some lawmakers to Hassan Rouhani in support of Khatami, which was signed by 86 members of Omid Fraction in Iran’s Parliament. The letter was written after the publication of news of imposing a new restriction on Khatami by Special Court for Clerics.
♦ IRGC commander talks of arresting Mehdi Jahangiri
Brigadier-General Gholamali Abuhamzeh, commander of IRGC in Kerman, pointed out to Kerman IRGC arresting Mehdi Jahangiri, brother of Iran’s First Vice President Eshaq Jahanigiri, saying “in a province where a youth can take a 3 million toman loan with a lot of difficulties, these people are spending billions of tomans.”
Abuhamzeh urged that IRGC will immediately react to anyone who wants to move against the people and the regime, stressing that “we will go for them one by one.”
Mehdi Jahangiri was recently taken into custody over various finance-related matters.
♦ Reaction to calling IRGC terrorist group
Alaeddin Boroujerdi, head of Parliament’s National Security Commission emphasized that any terrorist allegations against Iran Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) is an encroachment on the country’s security, saying that IRGC will continue to confront “U.S. terrorist, adventurous plots in the region.” He urged that Iran will condemn any such allegations against IRGC.
♦ Iran to use drones for pilgrims’ security
Chief of Ilam’s Border Guards said drones will be used in Mehran border to provide security for Arbeen pilgrims. He added that this year the mission of Ilam’s border guards is not only facilitating the trafficking of pilgrims to Karbala but also preventing illegal exit of people from Mehran Customs Office.
♦ Iran, the African Union to expand relations
Director of Africa Department in Iranian foreign ministry Mehdi Agha-Jafari met and consulted with officials of African Union in Addis Ababa, where this union is located. Agha-Jafari met with the deputy of African Union, 3 commissioners in scientific and technological, social and agricultural and rural economic affairs, discussing and exchanging views about ways to expand relations and cooperation in different fields. Officials of African Union welcomed continuation and expansion of cooperation with Iran, emphasizing this union’s readiness for strengthening relations with Iran.
♦ House of Industry: Manufacturing conditions worrying
Head of Iran’s House of Industry, Mining, and Trade Abdulvahab Sahlabadi said despite the government’s special facilities for manufacturers, banks do not cooperate and manufacturing units hardly manage to receive these facilities from the banking system. Pointing to worrying conditions of manufacturing conditions in the country, he added that heavy banking debts have slowed manufacturing units, and many manufacturers are not capable of receiving and repaying new facilities of prosperity plan of manufacturing units.
♦ Signing banking agreement between Iran and ECO
Central Bank of Iran (CBI) has signed a cooperation agreement with ECO Trade and Development Bank in Turkey. The agreement was signed by Hossein Yqoubi, CBI’s secretary-general for international affairs, with Burhanettin Aktas, ECO’s Vice President, during CBI’s Governor Valiollah Seif’s trip to Ankara. The agreement will determine conditions and regulations for activities of ECO Bank within the territory of Iran.
♦ Zarif: U.S. more isolated by calling IRGC terrorist organization
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warned against possible U.S. measure such as designating IRGC a terrorist organization. He added by such measures, “Americans will make themselves more isolated and more abominable in the eyes of our nation.” He urged that in case American officials make such “strategic mistakes”, Iran will certainly take countermeasures. Zarif added certain measures have been planned and will be announced at the right time.
IRGC commander Brigadier-General Mohammad Ali Jafari emphasized that he has good coordination with FM Zarif in declaring positions against “enemies of Iran”. He added that diplomatic statements are different from those of defense forces, but their content and orientation is the same.
♦ 86 MPs object to new restrictions on Mohammad Khatami
Head of Omid Fraction Mohammad Reza Aref, along with 85 other MPs, gave a written notice to President Hassan Rouhani, emphasizing on following up basic rights of Iranian citizens, including restrictions created for former reformist president Mohammad Khatami and some reformist political activists. Omid Fraction considered the new restrictions against Khatami “in obvious contradiction with some articles of the constitution”, asking Rouhani to take measures against it.
Khatami is reportedly banned for three months from taking part in “any political and propaganda ceremonies”. According to reports, he is banned from “becoming present in meetings, halls, conferences, artistic gatherings such as theaters and concerts.”
♦ Ghassemi: Iran’s response to U.S. will be decisive
Spokesperson of Iran’s Foreign Ministry Bahram Ghassemi said Iran’s response to U.S. imposing new sanctions on Iran will be “tough and decisive”. With regard to remarks of IRGC’s commander saying that if U.S. enlists IRGC as a terrorist group, “IRGC will treat American forces as those of ISIS”, Ghassemi said, “I hope U.S. administration doesn’t commit this strategic mistake, but if they move towards such a decision, Iran’s response will be tough and decisive.”
This is the latest example of continuous tensions between Tehran and Washington. According to unconfirmed reports, U.S. president might enlist IRGC as a terrorist organization, and announce that Iran has not been committed to JCPOA.
♦ Possible scenarios for post-JCPOA
Abbas Ziyaee Nayeri, the expert in political and international affairs, discussed possible scenarios, in case U.S. pulls out of JCPOA. The first –which is the worst – scenario will be Donald Trump convincing his European allies to pull out of JCPOA as well. The second one is for U.S. to decide to unilaterally pull out of JCPOA, while Europeans continue their agreement with Iran.
The other possibility is for U.S. to pull out of this deal, and impose new, more severe sanctions against Iran. According to Ziyaee Nayeri, the last scenario will be a new agreement over JCPOA, incorporating new changes in this document. This might be endorsed by Europeans, but will obviously face Iran’s disagreement.
♦ Velayati: Were it not for IRGC, ISIS would rule Iraq and Syria
Ali Akbar Velayati, advisor to Khamenei in foreign affairs, said, “Iran’s enemies particularly Americans know how important is IRGC’s role in defending the country, the regime and Iran’s friends in the region.” He went on to emphasize that “were it not for IRGC, U.S. agents, on top of all ISIS, would be ruling in Baghdad and Damascus, instead of their current governments that are elected by people’s votes.”
♦ Temporary suspension of Zoroastrian representative from Yazd city council
Head of Yazd’s City Council Gholamali Sefid said that temporary suspension verdict of Sepanta Niknam, Zoroastrian member of Yazd’s city council, has been announced to this council. He added given the “political domestic and foreign fallout of this decree,” there are efforts to change it.
Head of Yazd’s City Council had said previously that in case of finalization of Niknam’s suspension, people and city council will be “shocked”, and the unity among Muslims and Zoroastrians in this city will suffer a gap.
♦ Hashemi Shahroodi: Dividing Iraq, betraying region
Head of Expediency Council Hashemi Shahroodi expressed his regrets about efforts for creating “new seditions” in Iraqi Kurdistan region and new conspiracy for splitting this country. He emphasized that “obviously America and Israel are behind this move and sedition in the region.”
♦ Jazayeri: More control over joint borders of Iran, Iraqi Kurdistan
Senior spokesperson of armed forces Massoud Jazayeri said upon the request of Iraq’s lawful government about borders, Iran will exert more control over joint borders with Iraqi Kurdistan. As for independence referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan region, Jazayeri asserted that this was preplanned and U.S. has been always trying to destroy axis of resistance, but, on the contrary, the axis of resistance has gained more unexpected victories.
♦ Seizure of “Mostaghel” newspaper
Mostaghel newspaper, published in Tehran, was seized last week Wednesday for publishing a picture of Mir-Hossein Mousavi. Ali Nazari, chief editor of this reformist newspaper, told ILNA that the prosecutor has told them to stop publishing this newspaper until further notice.
On Wednesday, Mostaghel had published pictures of the first five prime ministers of Iran after the 1979 revolution in a report.
♦ Twofold growth of women imprisoned for unintentional crimes
Head of Iran’s Blood Money [diyyeh] Headquarters Assadollah Jolaee said a number of women who are imprisoned for unintentional crimes this year shows twofold growth compared to prior year. He added 95% of women are imprisoned for drawing checks, and the other 5% are in prison due to events in workshops and not being able to pay blood money.
Shahindokht Molaverdi, former vice president of Iran in women’s affairs, had previously said 200 women in Iran are currently imprisoned for unintentional crimes, and 90% of them have had no criminal records.
♦ Iranian authorities arrest vice president’s brother
Mehdi Jahangiri, the brother of Iran’s First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri, has been reportedly arrested over various finance-related matters. He runs Tehran Chamber of Commerce and is also director of private Gardeshgari Bank.
Prior to this, brother of Iran’s First Vice President had faced accusations in public opinion and had tried to respond to them. But his responses were not based on evidence. Some accusations against him are with regard to Gardeshgari Bank.
Mehdi Jahangiri is the founder of Gardeshgari Bank. Also, Investment Company of Iran’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism, known as SAMGA, is partly run by Jahangiri. This company was registered in 2009, and in a short time, could found 6 big satellite companies.
♦ Russia says oil-for-goods deal with Iran to take effect within month
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said the deal between Iran and Russia for sending goods to Iran in exchange for purchasing oil will be implemented within a month. Novak had previously announced that “we are finalizing the deal, and the issue of financial settlement is being considered.”
According to Russian Energy Minister Novak, the purchased oil from Iran would be 100 thousand barrels per day which would amount to 5 million tons per year, and a governmental trade company had been assigned to buy oil from Iran in the framework of this agreement.
♦ Tehran Friday Mass Prayer Leader reacts to rumors about Chief Justice
Tehran Friday Mass Prayer Leader Ahmad Khatami reacted to recent rumors about the head of the judiciary system, saying “the origin of these rumors is a website supported by Baha’is.” Khatami added that since the beginning of Iranian revolution, the regime and the revolution have been targeted, and “one of the enemies’ methods was a character assassination of high-ranking officials of the country.”
Former Vice President Lotofollah Forozandeh also believes that recent attack against Sadegh Larijani and his family is because of his “revolutionary performance”. He added that since Iran’s head of judiciary has taken “strong, revolutionary positions against the seditionist movement in recent years, these people have started character assassination against him on the Internet.”
Recently Amad news has recently reported that Zahra Larijani, daughter of Iranian Chief Justice Sadegh Larijani, has been arrested on a charge of espionage for Britain.
♦ Threatening Haft Tapeh workers to imprisonment
Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Company’s workers have been reportedly threatened to imprisonment in Shush court, in case thee continue their union activities.
According to an informed source, in past two weeks, 7 workers of Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Company have been summoned to court through the local police station. He added that in court, they have been threatened that in case they continue their union activities, they will be sentenced to imprisonment.
According to this report, the judge in Shush court, with asking any questions, has told the workers that they have had a role in provoking workers to go on strike and block the road.
♦ Deputy Health Minister: Prevalence of cigarettes among teenagers, national disaster
Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi said the prevalence of using cigarettes among teenage boys (between the ages of 13 and 15) is 3.4% and among teenage girls, 2.1%, urging that this statistic is a “national disaster”. Iraj Harrirchi added that annually 50 to 55 thousand people lose their lives in the country due to smoking.
♦ 30% increase in Iran-China trades
Deputy Head of Iran-China Joint Chamber of Commerce Majid Reza Hariri announced that trades between the two countries show 30% increase, adding that annual assembly of Iran-China Joint Chamber of Commerce will be held in Tehran on October 22.
Iran and China reached an agreement in early 2016 to increase the level of their trades to $600 billion in 10 years.